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Observation car lights

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  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: US
  • 27 posts
Observation car lights
Posted by dstaley on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 2:59 PM
Hello,
I'm trying to research the function of the rear lights on late 1970's/early 1980's observation cars in order to model the function on my phase-1 Amtrak passenger train.

Where might I find this kind of information?

Thanks!
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: US
  • 27 posts
Observation car lights
Posted by dstaley on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 2:59 PM
Hello,
I'm trying to research the function of the rear lights on late 1970's/early 1980's observation cars in order to model the function on my phase-1 Amtrak passenger train.

Where might I find this kind of information?

Thanks!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 1:46 PM
You'll need the normal marker lights displaying yellow or green to the front and sides with red to the rear.

Recently rebuilt cars have a pair of built-in electric markers displaying red to the rear of the train.

Using a lighted train sign is an optional item.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 1:46 PM
You'll need the normal marker lights displaying yellow or green to the front and sides with red to the rear.

Recently rebuilt cars have a pair of built-in electric markers displaying red to the rear of the train.

Using a lighted train sign is an optional item.
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: US
  • 27 posts
Posted by dstaley on Thursday, July 24, 2003 10:58 AM
Thanks for the info, Jim.

I've noticed on my Athearn cars that there appears to be a high-mounted light in the rear of the observation car. Was this a mars light, or something else?

Did the marker lights flash under normal usage?

Thanks again!
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: US
  • 27 posts
Posted by dstaley on Thursday, July 24, 2003 10:58 AM
Thanks for the info, Jim.

I've noticed on my Athearn cars that there appears to be a high-mounted light in the rear of the observation car. Was this a mars light, or something else?

Did the marker lights flash under normal usage?

Thanks again!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 2, 2003 7:10 PM
Common practice was a red lamp in the center housing. The red lamp would be flashing if the train applied emergency brakes and stopped . I saw the Amtrak in a siding once in awhile on the Starlight with the red constant or flashing. Never found a reason for the constant/flashing question.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 2, 2003 7:10 PM
Common practice was a red lamp in the center housing. The red lamp would be flashing if the train applied emergency brakes and stopped . I saw the Amtrak in a siding once in awhile on the Starlight with the red constant or flashing. Never found a reason for the constant/flashing question.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 11:02 AM
Amtrak inhereted all of its observation cars from other railroads, and those roads followed different practices with respect to observation car tail lights mounted on the centerline of the car.

If the tail light had a red lense, only a red indication could be shown. A steady red served as a marker light. If the light could operate in either a steady or an oscillating mode, the oscillating feature would probably be regarded not just as a marker, but as a flagging signal (indicating the train was stopped or running at less than normal speed).

Note that many observation car tail lights had clear lenses. Some of these cars could display only a white light to the rear, but this was a useful feature--a white light is usually required on the leading car of a train which is backing up (especially at night). Also, some roads required a white light to be substited for a red marker when a train was turned out and in the clear on a siding.

Some observation cars were equipped with clear outer lenses, but had white and red lights within the light housing. These cars could display either a white or a red indication to the rear.

--John

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 11:02 AM
Amtrak inhereted all of its observation cars from other railroads, and those roads followed different practices with respect to observation car tail lights mounted on the centerline of the car.

If the tail light had a red lense, only a red indication could be shown. A steady red served as a marker light. If the light could operate in either a steady or an oscillating mode, the oscillating feature would probably be regarded not just as a marker, but as a flagging signal (indicating the train was stopped or running at less than normal speed).

Note that many observation car tail lights had clear lenses. Some of these cars could display only a white light to the rear, but this was a useful feature--a white light is usually required on the leading car of a train which is backing up (especially at night). Also, some roads required a white light to be substited for a red marker when a train was turned out and in the clear on a siding.

Some observation cars were equipped with clear outer lenses, but had white and red lights within the light housing. These cars could display either a white or a red indication to the rear.

--John

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 7:39 PM
On streamlined obs, depending on requirements by the original road, you would have a lighted tail sign with a clear light on top. the taillight would mark the end of train (at same time identifying the train). The clear light would only come on when train was in reverse. Other obs had a lighted drum head, two red lights on side of car facing the rear and a clear back up light up top. Others only had a red light either on the sides, top or lower middle of rear door. your best bet is to look at photos in books dealing with Amtrak equipment. Ch
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 7:39 PM
On streamlined obs, depending on requirements by the original road, you would have a lighted tail sign with a clear light on top. the taillight would mark the end of train (at same time identifying the train). The clear light would only come on when train was in reverse. Other obs had a lighted drum head, two red lights on side of car facing the rear and a clear back up light up top. Others only had a red light either on the sides, top or lower middle of rear door. your best bet is to look at photos in books dealing with Amtrak equipment. Ch

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